Apprenticeships are a crucial tool to develop the next generation of industry technicians and engineers – they can be used to upskill your current employees to higher levels of knowledge or to train new recruits.

Training for apprentices is free for most companies and there is a lot of support available to you to help you find an apprentice and to guide you through the process.

Apprenticeships have changed in recent years making them an exciting option for both apprentices and employers and ICME has led the development of the new apprentice standard: Metal Casting, Foundry and Patternmaking (ref ST0566).

Apprentices can be school leavers looking to enter the industry, or existing employees who wish to develop, further or change direction within their career.

Benefits of Apprentices to your Organisation:

  • Boost employee productivity against both short and long term objectives
  • Support and improve employee retention
  • Develop and harness your own talent
  • Strengthen your employer brand
  • Cost effective form of training

ICME offers Free Membership for Apprentices – contact us to find out more.

New to Apprenticeships?

Here we list a few providers who offer quality apprenticeships within the Metal Casting, Foundry and Patternmaking Industry.

Contact us as we can signpost you to organisations who can help with funding, apprentice recruitment and support for employers as well as relevant apprentice programmes.

Foundry Training Services

FTS operate out of the National Foundry Training Centre to simulate a real life working environment. Based in the West Midlands but delivering Apprenticeships on a national level, supported by technical experts from the industry. FTS work in partnership with Dudley College and University of Wolverhampton to deliver apprenticeships. The current standard they are delivering is:

  • Level 3 Metal Casting, Foundry and Patternmaking Technician (ref ST566)

For a short overview of what FTS offer view their training video here.

For additional information please contact FTSL Manager, Michala French on tel: 0121 752 1814 or email:

In-Comm Training & Business Services

Rated by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’, In-Comm is now one of the UK’s leading providers of apprenticeships, training and business services, working across more than 10 sectors and with 250 different companies. For more information contact In-Comm on tel: 01922 457 686.

Cranfield University – higher level apprenticeships

A new apprenticeship standard for engineers employed within the surface coatings and surface engineering disciplines is now available from Cranfield University. This new standard is at Master Degree level 7, and post graduate engineers will learn specialised skills particular to Surface Engineering and Coatings, Heat Treatment Processes and Surface Treatments with a specific emphasis on helping your business.

  • Level 7 Materials Process Engineer Masters Degree Apprenticeship

This new apprenticeship standard is supported by the ICME and the Cast Metals Federation along with many other Institutes and Associations and will be followed by others at levels 2. 3, 6 and 7. The standard development was led by members of the Surface Engineering Leadership Forum.

The first course forming part of the level 7 standard is planned to commence in January 2021 and will be offered by Cranfield University. The delivery will consist of taught modules, group and individual project, case studies, to be followed by an end point assessment. The programme duration will be 30 months, on a part time basis, so is intended to be undertaken by those in employment so that the applied learning can be tailored to the needs of the business.

The outcome of the apprenticeship will be a qualified engineer ready to help lead your company forward through digital manufacturing to become World Class.

For additional information regarding this apprenticeship standard visit the website here.

Alternatively contact Cranfield University, Jeff Rao: or call 01234 754185.

Training Grants Available


The Foundry Training Trust is a registered charity that offers financial grant support towards the costs of professional development to enable individuals improve their knowledge and skills in the cast metals and related industries.

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